Archive for December, 2011

Don’t expect a Hanley-Fredi reunion in ATL

DALLAS – Amid reports Tuesday that Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez might ask to be traded rather than move to third base to accommodate newly signed Jose Reyes, Braves general manager Frank Wren was asked if maybe, possibly …

The answer was no.

No, the Ramirez situation would not have any effect on the Braves’ shortstop situation, Wren said. That confirmed what most assumed — the Braves would not pursue the enigmatic shortstop whom then-Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez famously benched in 2010 for not hustling after a ball that rolled into the outfield.

Gonzalez was in Wren’s suite Tuesday when the GM met with Atlanta writers during the second day of baseball’s Winter Meetings at the Hilton Anatole. Many in South Florida believed that Gonzalez’ brief benching of Ramirez helped get the manager fired soon after, because Ramirez was a favorite of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.

The Braves hired Gonzalez as manager after the 2010 season, to replace his retired mentor …

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While Marlins spend, Braves waiting for deals

DALLAS – With memories of the Braves’ September collapse still lingering, and the Marlins scooping up expensive free agents, and other NL East teams making moves as well, Frank Wren knows some Atlanta fans want to see him wheeling and dealing.

But the Braves general manager leaned back in a chair in his suite at the Hilton Anatole on Monday, the first day of baseball’s annual Winter Meetings, and said he would only make a deal if and when the Braves think it’s to their benefit.

“You can get caught in that trap and get intoxicated by the deal,” he said. “There’s an adrenaline rush to making a deal, but the bottom line is, does it make us better? We’re not going to make a deal just to make a splash at home. We’re not going to make a deal just to make a deal. We’re looking to get better.

“We’ve identified some areas where we think we can get better. That’s our whole goal here.”

Wren said their top-priority need is a backup …

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‘14 HOF class should have distinct Braves flavor

DALLAS – This morning’s announcement here at the Winter Meetings that Ron Santo was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee got me thinking what an epic Braves-centric event the 2014 HOF induction ceremony could be.

Not only will Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine surely be first-ballot inductees that July day at Cooperstown, but going in alongside the pair of 300-game winners could be their former Braves manager Bobby Cox.

And here’s one that a lot of folks might not have thought about: longtime Braves GM John Schuerholz could also be enshrined that year, which would be quite an aligning of stars for the Braves and their fans, who’s certainly flock to Cooperstown in droves for that happening.

Glavine (left) and Maddux (right) should be first-ballot HOF selections in 2014, while Smoltz will have to wait at least another year because he pitched a year longer than his two pals.

Glavine (left) and Maddux (right) should be first-ballot HOF selections in 2014, while Smoltz will have to wait at least another year because he pitched a year longer than his two pals.

Cox and Schuerholz will be on the Veterans Committee ballot at the 2013 Winter …

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Winter Meetings could be busy for Braves

Some general managers predict an eventful four days of wheeling and dealing at the Winter Meetings starting Monday in Dallas, and the Braves will be involved in plenty of rumors — whether they like it or not, and whether or not the reports have validity.

They are still looking for a shortstop and a power-hitting outfielder, and it’s no secret they are more inclined to trade for players than sign expensive free agents.

While Braves general manager Frank Wren rarely discusses with reporters any specific players he’s pursuing, officials with many teams aren’t nearly so tight-lipped. As a result, trade talk is leaked by some teams, fueling even more speculation.

Rumoring tends to become widespread this time of year, particularly around teams that choose to neither confirm nor quash most of the reports.

“I’ve actively shopped players this fall [according to some reports] that I haven’t even mentioned their names,” said Braves general manager Frank Wren.

Left fielder …

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